Published by: Jessica Chalmers
With all the chatter about the 'Boris bounce', what we all want to know is, is Chiswick bouncing? It's been 3.5 years since the EU referendum and the property market has faced some huge challenges. The political and financial uncertainty that Brexit has brought, along with stamp duty hikes, has resulted in stalling property sales in London and the Home Counties. Add in tax changes and an extra 3% stamp duty for the buy to let market and these have all combined for a pretty bleak outlook - not a barrel of laughs!
However, fast forward to mid-December and Boris Johnson's general election landslide victory. The majority win brought with it an influx of cash into the property market. This is illustrated spectacularly in the sale of the £65 million Belgravia penthouse apartment which sold hours after the Tory's winning majority was confirmed. But let's not take just one super-rich, slightly bonkers property purchase as veracity! The FTSE all-share Index increased by 1.5% straight after the election result and property shares jumped significantly. In fact, almost all shares in property-related public limited companies jumped substantially on the Friday after the result.
This is what our friends at Rightmove have to say about it in their House Price Index, specifically looking at the London trends: There has been a 2.1% (+£12,320) monthly surge in the average price of property coming to market in the capital. This is the largest monthly rise Rightmove has ever recorded at this time of year, it would appear that many of these new sellers are feeling a surge of optimism. Buyers are also optimistic, with a 19% increase in the number of sales agreed compared to the same period a year ago. Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: "This is the biggest new-year price surge that we have ever recorded. However, it is still a price-sensitive market, with stretched buyer affordability, so sellers should be careful not to get carried away with their pricing and miss out on this window of increased activity. One factor behind the upward price pressure has been the shortage of property coming to market, with 2019 numbers down by 19% on 2018 and some would-be sellers postponing their moves until they judge the outlook to be more certain. This month sees new seller numbers still down on the prior year, but by a less dramatic 10%. While there may well be more twists and turns to come in the Brexit saga, with London prices now rising again and not enough properties to satisfy this buyer demand, there is an opportunity for sellers to get their property on the market for a spring move. For those who can afford to move and have been putting it off, now would appear to be a good time for them to get a view from a local estate agent on their property's value and a mortgage quote for the great fixed-rate deals that are currently available."
How does this affect the Chiswick property market? In London we've been luckier than some parts of the UK and have seen signs of recovery since the middle of last year which is set to continue; Market confidence is great for releasing the property gridlock. Chris Chalmers, Director and co-owner at Whitman & Co explains: "With more certainty in the market, those people who had been putting their next property move on hold are now confident to get the ball rolling. This has driven an influx of stock at Whitman's. Since the general election results were confirmed, we have seen a marked increase in valuations and instructions. This stock, of course, sets the wheels in motion and brings back aspirational buyers who have been lacking in recent times. Lots of people have been taking a 'wait and see' attitude. The positive of this is that the buyers coming through are often ready to get going with a purchase straight away. They have been keeping their eye in and getting themselves into a position where they are ready to move on the right property. Seeing prices stabilise last year and with the prospect of price rises this, we are already seeing multiple interests on most properties and of the properties sold this year, over 50% have gone to best offers in excess of the asking price. Having been around long enough not to get too carried away with this, the best advice I can give a potential vendor is to go to a local property expert who understands the market. The highest price is not always the best advice! A clear plan is, and that is what we're good at and why we're the market leader."
If this has piqued your interest lets scale down further and focus on Whitman & Co and how we are faring within the estate agent market in W4, let's be honest there are a lot of us! The latest Rightmove statistics prove that Whitman & Co has been, and remains the number one agent for properties sold in Chiswick over the past 3 years. We are selling between 2-3 times more property than our nearest competitors. In fact, 1 in 5 properties in Chiswick is sold by Whitman & Co. We continue to achieve exceptional results for our clients, last year 1 in 3 properties went to best offers and already this year, as mentioned above, over 50% of properties have gone to sealed bids. Over the years we have developed close relationships with clients and as such 15% of sales occur 'off-market', so we are in an enviable position that we are often able to match the client to a property without the need to go on the open market. Of course, Whitman & Co is not simply a sales office we have a thriving Letting department ranked by Rightmove as number 2 in Chiswick and our Commercial department is championing the high street.
But don't just take our word for it, here is a taste of what our clients say about us:
"Whitman is the estate agent of choice for anyone considering buying or selling in Chiswick. Consistently helpful and professional, they have a great portfolio of properties with an extensive network of loyal customers, the former being great for buyers, the latter great for sellers."
"I couldn't recommend Whitman & Co highly enough..they acted swiftly, professionally and within two weeks had secured genuine and realistic offers..where other estate agents had failed to do over the whole of the previous year."
"Excellent service..the estimate was that my house would sell within 2 weeks, it sold within 2 days without making it on to the internet.. an excellent estate agents."
"I have worked with many lettings agents over the last 10 years and can't recommend Whitman & Co enough!"
Regardless of your political persuasion, I hope this has answered any questions you may have had about the 'Boris bounce' in Chiswick. If you do have any questions about the market or your property, we would be more than happy to speak to you in more detail. Please give us a call on 02087478800.